John Fowler Holidays – were you a first guest?
Founder offers £1000 and a free holiday to his first guest from 1953
Retirement Matters note : this page now archived but did anybody have any success with the special offer? Do let us know!
John Fowler, the chairman and founder of the John Fowler Holidays group, is searching nationwide for the first visitor to his company when it was just a single caravan in a remote field near Newquay.
Now a multimillion-pound chain of fourteen holiday parks spread across the South West, John Fowler Holidays began when John left his Merchant Navy ship with aspirations for a business life ashore in Cornwall and his £300 pay-off in his pocket. Without a house, job or car to help him in his determination to start a business, John bought an old pre-war caravan for £100 and completely refurbished it. He had noticed visitor demand for the independence of a self-catering holiday as an alternative to traditional boarding houses or hotels.
The firm is now one of the UK’s biggest self-catering providers offering accommodation for up to fifteen thousand visitors nightly. As John Fowler Holidays celebrates its diamond jubilee, the company is hunting for holiday-makers who stayed with John in the year it all began – whether they made the booking themselves or came along as a child. The earliest guest from 1953 that can be found will receive a luxury John Fowler Holiday’s break, plus £1000 in cash.
There will also be cash and holiday prizes for the winners of two separate sixtieth anniversary competition weekends to be held at Ilfracombe Holiday Park in the autumn: an X-Factor style search for Britain’s best holiday entertainer, and a classic cars convention to find the most appealing car preserved from 1953.
John Fowler Holidays is the largest privately owned holiday group in the Westcountry.
In the last major survey of South West companies, John Fowler Holidays was ranked at Number 30 in a list of the 150 biggest firms operating out of Devon and Cornwall. (Source: Western Morning News, Annual Business Guide 2011) John Fowler Holidays has also been recognised in the Sunday Times Profit Track 100 list of the UK’s 100 fastest firms for profit-growth.
The fourteen John Fowler Holidays parks are situated in Penzance, St Ives, Hayle, Looe, Polperro, Perranporth, Widemouth Bay (near Bude), Brixham, Ilfracombe, Combe Martin, and Burnham-on-Sea, with some resorts hosting more than one park.